Pomona College has joined a cohort of higher education institutions to establish the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA) which aims to address racial inequities at liberal arts colleges.
The alliance will provide liberal arts colleges with tools and virtual programming to examine campus culture and to lead more effectively on issues of race. The six founding members of the alliance are DePauw University, Oberlin College, Occidental College, Pomona College, Macalester College and Skidmore College.
“The alliance has come together during a year marked by a pandemic and by social unrest over systemic racism,” says Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr. “This partnership will enable Pomona to collaborate with other liberal arts colleges to better address issues of race and equity on our campuses as we all share the mission to educate future leaders who will be our nation’s problem solvers.”
As part of the alliance, Pomona representatives will participate in programming created by USC’s Race and Equity Center. These monthly virtual meetings will begin in January 2021 and will focus on racial equity solutions. In these meetings, representatives from each college will learn about topics ranging from accountability and incentives for advancing racial equity to meaningfully integrating race across the curriculum. College representatives will be taught how to teach what they have learned to other colleagues on their campuses, and they will return to work with shareable tools and resources.
Presidents of alliance member colleges will also meet quarterly to share strategies and seek advice from each other and the USC Race and Equity Center’s team. They will brainstorm ways to leverage the alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.
In addition, Pomona College staff and faculty members will have full access to USC’s virtual equity resource portal. Downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks and conversation scripts will be included in the portal.